Advertisers in Willshire’s 1948 Willow

After spending time looking at occupations and businesses in the village of Willshire in the 1880 census, I am leaving the 19th century and fast-forwarding about 70 years, to look at some Willshire businesses in the mid-1900s.

But instead of using census records I am using the advertisers in Willshire’s yearbook, the Willow. Their advertisements bring back memories of businesses that are no longer. I have several old Willow yearbooks and the 1948 Willow is the oldest I have.

1948 Willow, Willshire Public School

I am familiar with some of the advertisers in the 1948 yearbook. Some advertisers were from neighboring towns like Van Wert and Decatur, but I did not include them. Except for the Chattanooga advertisers, which I am including. There were many Chatt-area students at Willshire Public School and, after all, this is Karen’s Chatt.

Willshire and Chatt advertisers in the 1948 Willow:

1948 Willow

My mom was a bookkeeper at Willshire Grain & Supply.

1948 Willow

1948 Willow

Phone numbers were easier to remember back then. They consisted of only 2 or 3 digits and today we use 10!

1948 Willow

1948 Willow

1948 Willow

1948 Willow

1948 Willow

1948 Willow

1948 Willow

1948 Willow

I have some other Willow yearbooks, for more recent years, and I will show some of the advertisers in them soon.

Tombstone Tuesday-Caroline Huber

Caroline Huber, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2012 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Caroline Huber, located in row 11 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm, Van Wert County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

Caroline Huber
Born 6, 10, 1842
Died 2, 13, 1924
Age 81 Years
8 Mo, 3 Da

Caroline Huber was born 10 June 1842 in Schwieberdingen, Wuerttemberg, the daughter of Michael and Christena (Ehret) Huber. Caroline was baptized 12 June 1842 in Schwieberdingen. [1] [2]

Caroline’s father Michael Huber, her mother Christena Huber, and Caroline herself came to America in June 1853. [2]

The Michael Huber family settled in Blackcreek Township, Mercer County, Ohio, and had Shanes Crossing address. The Michael Huber family there in 1860: Michael Huber, 44; Christena Huber, 46; and Caroline Huber, 18. This enumeration indicates that all three family members were born in Wuerttemberg and Michael was a farmer. [3]

Caroline Huber married Casimere B. Laukhart on 23 July 1863 in Mercer County, Ohio. [4] Casimere Laukhart (1818-1879) was a widower with a couple sons from his first marriage. A daughter, Flora C, was born to Casimere and Caroline on 11 June 1864. Census records indicate that Casimere and Caroline divorced or separated by 1870 and Caroline and her daughter Flora went back to live with Caroline’s parents, Michael and Christene Huber. Caroline took back her maiden name and retained her maiden name the rest of her life.   

The Michael Huber family in 1870, residing in Blackcreek Township: Michael Huber, 54; Christena M Huber, 57; Caroline Huber, 28; and Flora Laukhart, 6. This enumeration indicates all three Hubers were born in Wuerttemberg and that Flora was born in Ohio. [5]  

Caroline’s father Michael Huber died 29 March 1877 and is buried in row 9 of Zion Schumm’s cemetery. [6]

In 1880 Caroline Huber, 36, divorced, and her daughter Flora Laukhart, 11, lived with her widowed mother Christena Huber, 70, head, all living in Willshire Township. This enumeration indicates that Christena and Caroline were born in Bavaria and that Flora was born in Ohio. This enumeration also indicates that Christena had cancer of the uterus. [7]

Caroline’s mother Christena (Ehret) Huber died on 4 July 1880, a few weeks after the census was taken, and is buried in row 9 of Zion Schumm’s cemetery.  

The 1890 census was destroyed, so there is a 20-year gap between the 1880 and 1900 censuses. During that time Caroline’s daughter Flora Laukhart married Jacob Elonzo Alspaugh (1867-1948). They married about 1888. I could not locate Caroline Huber in the 1900 census but it would be a good assumption that she was living with her daughter Flora and her family. Caroline lived with them the rest of her life and they were her only relatives in this country.

In 1900 Jacob and Flora (Laukhart) Alspaugh lived on West South Street in Rockford: Jacob, 32; Flora, 35; Finley, 10; Arnold, 7; Adah, 5; and Zelah, 1. Jacob worked as a house carpenter. [8]  

The Jacob Alspaugh family moved to Willshire Township by 1910 and Caroline Huber lived with them and was enumerated with their household in 1910: JE Alspaugh, 42; Flora, 45, wife; Finley, 20, son; Arnold, 17, son; Adah, 15, daughter; Zelah, 11, daughter; Ezra, 9, son; Esther, 5, daughter; and Caroline, 77, mother. [9]

The Jacob Alspaugh family moved to Stryker, Williams County, Ohio, sometime between 1910 and 1920. Caroline continued to live with her only child Flora and her family there, residing on Lynn Street in Stryker. The Jacob Alspaugh family in 1920: Jacob E Alspaugh, 52, head; Flora Alspaugh, 55, wife; Ezra Alspaugh, 18, son; Esther Alspaugh, 15, daughter; and Caroline “Hoover,” 77, mother-in-law, widowed. [10]

Caroline Huber died in Stryker, Ohio, on 13 February 1924, at the age of 81 years, 8 months, and 3 days.  She was buried on the 16th, buried a couple rows from her parents gravesite.

Child of Casimere B. Laukhart and Caroline Huber:
Flora C. Laukhart (1864-1963), married Jacob Elonzo Alspaugh

[1] Wuerttemberg, Germany, Lutheran Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1500-1985, Schwieberdingen Taufen, Tote, Heiraten, Notizen & Toten, 1558-1810, year 1842 no.42, Karolina Huber, born 10 Jun 1842.

[2] Wuerttemberg, Germany, Family Tables, 1550-1985, Schwieberdingen, Konfirmation & Familienbucher, 1723-1866, p. 182, Michael Huber family; online database,, viewed 6 Mary 2022.

[3] 1860 U.S. Census, Black Creek, Mercer, Ohio, p.329, dwelling 581, family 586, Michael Huber; digital image by subscription,, viewed 6 Mar 2022.

[4] Ohio, U.S., County Marriage Records, 1774-1993, Mercer County Marriages, 1861-1887, p.46 , Casamere Lakehart & Caroline Hahur/Hover, 23 Jul 1863; database on-line,, viewed 30 Mar 2022.

[5] 1870 U.S. Census, Black Creek, Mercer, Ohio, p.23A, dwelling & family 62, Michael Hoober; digital image by subscription,, viewed 6 Mar 2022.

[6] Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001, Van Wert, Vol.1, 1867-1908, p.120 Michael Huber, 29 Mar 1877; database with images,, viewed 6 Mar 2022.

[7] 1880 U.S. Census Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 154, p.457A, family 258, Mary Hoser; digital image by subscription,, viewed 6 Mar 2022.

[8] 1900 U.S. Census, Dublin, Mercer, Ohio, ED 78, p.9, dwelling 201, family 208, Jacob Allspaw; digital image by subscription,, viewed 3 Apr 2022.

[9] 1910 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 114, p.2A [penned], dwelling & family 28, JE Alspaugh; digital image by subscription,, viewed 30 Mar 2022.

[10] 1920 U.S. Census, Springfield Twp, Williams, Ohio, ED 168, p.8B [penned], dwelling & family 222, Jacob E Alspaugh; digital image by subscription,, viewed 30 Mar 2022.


Willshire Occupations & Businesses in 1880

I am still stuck in Willshire’s 1880 census enumeration. This is a time in history that I really enjoy studying. Plus, I like looking through census records. Add to that, this year is Willshire’s Bicentennial and we have a win-win.

Today, occupations and businesses of Willshire’s 520 residents in 1880.

It comes as no surprise that men made up the vast majority of the work force at that time. There was an occasional working woman, usually a schoolteacher, dressmaker, milliner, or one who worked at a hotel. Sometimes a widow ran a boarding house.

Willshire, Ohio, 1886

The most common occupations were day labor, carpenters, merchants, and railroad workers. The railroad had only been in the village a couple years, which probably explains the number of railroad workers. It is interesting that there were several stone cutters in Willshire, possibly because there were a couple stone quarries nearby. 

Most of the community’s needs could be met in a small village like Willshire. Back then, people didn’t travel far for their basic needs and small towns provided most of the necessary services and supplies.

I noticed that often persons with the same family name had the same occupation, which makes sense. They continued in the family trade.

Some occupations from that time period are nonexistent today and here are few definitions of occupations we may not recognize:

Cooper: person to made wooden casks, barrels, vats, buckets, tubs, etc. from timber staves that were heated or steamed to make them pliable.

Day Labor: worker is hired and paid one day at a time, with no promise that more work will be available.

Drayman: the driver of a dray, which was a low, flat-bed wagon without sides, pulled by horses or mules and used to transport all sorts of goods.

Livery: a livery stable; a place where horses, teams, buggies, and wagons were for hire; or liveries could be attached to a hotel, where horses could be boarded for a short time.

Milliner: one who makes, designs, trims, or sells hats.

Stave: narrow strips of wood or narrow iron plates placed edge to edge to form the sides, covering, or lining of a vessel, such as a barrel.

From the 1880 census of Willshire village, I transcribed names mainly as they were indexed on, so the spellings may not be as we spell them today. The list below shows the occupation, those who worked at that occupation and their age, and sometimes the person’s specific duty:

Agriculture Store: Jefferson T. Cully, 26; Wm F.R. Davis [clerk]
Barber: William P. Paster, 40; Lafayette Riker, 45
Blacksmith: David Dellinger, 47; Thomas Dellinger, 24; L.J. Patrick, 31; Henry Nichols, 22; Byron Denman, 24
Book/Shoe/Clothing Store: Gabrial H. Keople, 35
Bookkeeper: W. C. Davis, 46
Brick Maker: William J. Coil, 55; Malan Morehead, 28; Mathew Morehead, 32
Butcher: Milton Majar, 50; Jerome D. Carter, 45; Samuel Lotter, 33; August Husse, 19
Carpenter/Cabinetmaker: William A. Ross, 38; William King, 26; J.L. Bienz, 28 [house]; Wm Foreman, 40; William Dellinger, 56; Steve Buchanan 32; Henry H. King, 38; Lauren King, 18; George W. Majors, 37
Constable: William Beam, 34
Cooper: David Savern, 24; Phillip Trautner, 79
Day Labor: Soloman Swank, 33; William H. Stetler, 23; Amos D. Stetler, 20; Franklin Chilcote, 33; Newton Tullis, 24; Paul Branstetter, 25; Amos M. Ainsworth, 16; William B. Hard, 63
Dentist: Christopher C. Scott, 27; John D. Scott, 24
Drayman: Thomas Avery, 28; John Moody, 27
Dressmaker: Margaret Jewel, 36; E.E. Albright, 22; Rachael J. Stutar, 50; Lu Arbogast, 25; Elizabeth Ainsworth, 27
Drug Store: Chas Vance, 30; H.S. Ainsworth, 21 [clerk]; Melvin Davis, 20 [clerk]; Sylvester Brock, 40
Merchant/Dry Goods: David Casto, 40; Henry Banto, 55; James D. Banto, 22 [clerk]; Jen Zimmerman, 26; James Weimer, 23 [clerk]; A.J. Woods, 32; John B. Weber, 20; C.G. Harb, 28; John Seman, 40 [clerk]; Joseph M. Price, 32 [clerk]              
Engineer: A. Henderson, 31; Thomas Laman, 36
Farmer: John Thatcher, 75; Geo Thatcher, 40
Farm Labor: David W. Allspaw, 27
General Trader: Thomas Willie, 27
Grocer/Dry Goods: W.M. Williams, 33; Simison Wicks, 38 [grocer]
Gunsmith: Robert B. Rhodes, 46
Handle Turner: F.G. Marple, 22
Hardware Store: Henry Altheon, 41; William Pontias, 39
Harness Maker: Alexander Beall, 32; Wm H. Beall, 34
Hotel Keeper/Boarding House: Stephen C. Flinn, 31; Caroline Barbar, 49; Ann Crowinger, 44; Adam Straubinger, 37
Hotel Worker: Jos Morningstar, 22; Mary Jones, 33; William Thomas, 26 [clerk]; Louisa J. Cook, 20 [hotel cook]
House Painter/Sign Painter: D.O. Thorp, 48
Life Insurance Agent: A.W. Chilcote, 38
Livery Worker: Alfred Park, 26; Alexander Park, 30; John Ainsworth, 29
Lumber Yard: Sam Fairchild, 27; George Gardner, 28 [lumber man]; W.E. Day, 26 [lumber merchant]
Marble/Stone Cutter: A.H. Mook, 45; Michael McBrian, 39; Agu Keefer, 20; F.G. Marple, 20
Miller: Enoch Cox, 37
Milliner: Volletta Thomas, 20; Lea Manto, 45
Minister: L.W. Linsey, 27
Music Teacher: Ida C. Crowinger, 23;
Plasterer: Henry Weimer, 35; Robert Davis, 33; G.H. Young, 54; Sylvester R. Young, 25
Photographer: W.F. Lourey, 33
Physicians: John W. Pearce, 65; John K. Ross, 35; S.K. Christy, 27; Dr. Timothy Hawkins, 35; J.F. Shaffner, 51
Printing Office: E.L. Slottabeck, 18
Railroad: Isa Magnes, 34 [section hand]; Joseph Lynch, 42 [contractor]; James Hammond, 23 [section hand]; L.S Risly, 25 [freight agent]; Daniel Trautner, 30 [section hand]; David Troutner, 22 [section hand]; Thomas Troutner, 24 [section hand]; Hanen Riker, 20 [section hand]
Saloon: Isaac Emery, 33 [keeper]; J.F. Burdge, 28 [clerk]; Andrew Richter, 43; Amos Foreman, 26; William Shrank, 14 [clerk]
Sawmill: A.M. Davis, 47; Wm Weghter, 23 [worker]
School Teacher: Addie K. Sims, 14; For a E. Price, 29
Shoemaker: Calvin A. Mix, 24; James H. Davis, 51; Israel Kemp, 44; Adam Kuhm, 43
Silversmith: John P. Hoff, 27; W.L. Davies, 25
Stave Factory: John L. Dellinger, 19; John Smith, 17 [cutter]
Tailor: Ludwig Selle, 30; James Campbell, 20
Tanner & Courier: Charles Thomas, 48
Tile Maker: Thomas Johnson, 28
Tin Smith: E.H. Harris, 27
Wagon Maker: Louis Warner, 30; John Detterer, 29

One last item about Willshire businesses in the late 1800s. Going back in time 8 more years, the 1872 Willshire Business Directory, from the Map of Van Wert County Ohio, 1872, Willard Kingman & McConahy:

H. Althon, manufacturer of and dealer in furniture. Undertaking attended to.
Fred Billman, livery stable. Proprietor Willshire, Van Wert and Decatur Stage Line.
David Casto
M. Croninger, physician and surgeon
John Detterer, proprietor sawmill. Manf. And dealer in lumber.
Dettmer & Johnson, dealers in hardware and stoves, and manufacturers of tinware.
Jesse Hartzog, proprietor Willshire Steam Mills. Manf. And dealer in flour and grain. Highest price paid for wheat in cash.
Philip Hill, boot and shoe shop.
Wm. T. Lamb, proprietor “Oregon House.” Dealers in groceries and provisions.
Lyman Patrick, proprietor, blacksmith, and wagon shop.
J.W. Pearce, physician and farmer.
W.C. Putnam, eclectic physician and surgeon.
Wood & Chilcote, dry goods, groceries, hats, caps, boots, and Queensware.
J. Warren

Tombstone Tuesday-Candle Tombstone Symbol

A candle with a flame, as tombstone art, symbolizes life, eternal life, and light. A burning candle brings light to darkness.

Burning candles, Willshire Cemetery

Jesus said, I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life. (John 8:12)

Burning candles, Willshire Cemetery

Burning candles, Greenlawn Cemetery, Wapakoneta, Ohio

Candles are sometimes seen in a group of three, symbolizing the Holy Trinity.

Burning candles, Riverside Cemetery, Rockford, Ohio

The Grim Reaper and Death Angel are snuffing out a candle, symbolizing death.

Grim Reaper & Death Angel snuffing out candle, King’s Chapel Burying Ground, Boston, MA

A broken candle symbolizes an early death, at a young age.

Willshire, Reported Disabilities in the 1880 Census

Recently I have been scouring the censuses for information about the inhabitants of the village of Willshire during the last half of the 1800s. Willshire is of particular interest this year because they are celebrating the 200th anniversary of the founding of the town by Captain James Riley. Their Bicentennial.

As I was going through the 1880 census of Willshire Township I noticed something that I had missed before. Totally missed.

1880 Census, Willshire village, 26 June 1880.

In addition to all the good information the 1880 census provides (relationship to the head of household, marital status, place of birth of each individual’s father & mother, etc.), the 1880 census has some other unique categories.

Category 15: Is the person [on the day of the Enumerator’s visit] sick or temporarily disabled, so as to be unable to attend to ordinary business or duties? If so, what is the sickness or disability? Individuals who were born or who died after 1 June 1880 were not to be included in the 1880 census, even though the enumerator may not have questioned them until well after that date.

There was enough space under Category No. 15 to write a comment. Under the next five categories were boxes to be checked, if applicable: No. 16: blind; No. 17: deaf & dumb; No. 18: idiotic; No. 19: insane; and No. 20: maimed, crippled, bedridden, or otherwise disabled.

Willshire Township’s 1880 census taker, John F. Shaffner, actually wrote a number of notations in Category No. 15 and I I found the information quite interesting. Actually, it appears he wrote more under Category 15 than the average census taker.

Just to compare, I looked at a couple other 1880 enumerations, in local townships Blackcreek and Dublin. I noticed there were a couple illnesses written in Category 15, but not nearly as many as Shaffner wrote in Willshire Township.

But that was not all that Shaffner did. He drew a line through some names and wrote dead in the Category 15 area. I wondered what that was all about. Was that the normal thing to do? I did not see any names that were crossed off and noted as dead in Blackcreek or Dublin. Granted, I did not do an extensive census comparison, but it appears Shaffner went above and beyond with his notations, which is a good thing for us now.

John F. Shaffner, Willshire village and Willshire Township’s 1880 enumerator, was a physician in Willshire. Perhaps that was the reason he noted more illnesses and diseases and added the deaths after the fact. He probably had personal knowledge of these facts. Insider information. He was probably the family physician for many of these people.

Concerning the names Shaffner crossed off as dead, I wondered when the person died and how long after the census was taken did they die. Shaffner would not have enumerated a person if they were already dead, so when did he adjust the census and note that the person had died? Did he do this for everyone who had died in the township shortly after the census was taken?

Just to get an idea, I did a little research on a couple people in the township.

On 23 June 1880 Shaffner enumerated Abesh Dague, 57, female, born in Virginia. That was all crossed out and dead was written in Column 15. [2] Find a shows that Abashaba Dague died 21 August 1880 and is buried at Heilman/Smith Cemetery. Apparently Shaffner went back and adjusted the census nearly 2 months later.

But Shaffner did not do this for everyone who died. I recently wrote a Tombstone Tuesday about Christene Huber, enumerated in Willshire Township by Shaffner as Mary Hoser on 25 June 1880. In Column 15 Shaffner wrote cancer of uterus. [3] Christene Huber [aka Mary Hoser as written in the 1880 census] died about 2 weeks later, on 4 July 1880. She is buried in Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Schumm. Her name was not crossed out and dead was not written in Column 15 on the census page.

It appears that Shaffner was a little inconsistent. However, it is all very interesting and it is nice to have the additional information about people.

So what additional facts can we learn from columns 15-20 in the 1880 census for Willshire village and Willshire Township? Below is what I found. I copied the surnames basically as they were written and spelled in the census. I focused mainly on Category No. 15 but I also noted if any of the above-mentioned categories (16-20) were checked.

Willshire village, enumerated 26 June-30 June 1880, Categories 15-20:

Delilah Ann Park, 27, wife of Alfred Park, had hip joint disease and was disabled.
Almira Avery, 28, wife of Thomas Avery, died, name crossed out.
Margret Davis, 86, living with widow Caroline Barber, had hip disease.
Francis Gene Paster, 14, son of William P. Paster, died, name crossed out.   
Mary Hoff, 27, wife of John P. Hoff, died, name crossed out.
Josephine Hoff, 14 days old, daughter of John P. Hoff, died, name crossed out.
John Thatcher, 75, living with Israel Kemp, died.
Henrietta Seman, 5 months, daughter of John Seman, died, name crossed out.
Joseph Lynch, 42, died, name crossed out.
Adam Kuhm, 43, had consumption and was disabled.
Charley Hammond, 4 months, son of James Hammond, died, name crossed out.
Francis E. Hard, 26, daughter of William B. Hard, died, name crossed out.
Arrilla F. Majors, 9, daughter of George W. Majors, died, name crossed out.
Henry Sherman Majors, 15, son of George W. Majors, was disabled.
Daniel Avery, 32, brother-in-law of Daniel Troutner, died, name crossed out.

I counted 520 individuals enumerated in village of Willshire in 1880, counting everyone, including children.

Willshire Township, enumerated 1 June-25 June 1880, Categories 15-20:

Elisabeth Schinnerer, 38, wife of Fredrick Schinnerer, was disabled.
Barbara Schinnerer, 17, daughter of Fredrick Schinnerer, was disabled.
Alden Presho, 57, had heart disease.
Elija Willey, 50, had pneumonia.
Aaron Rice, 14, nephew of Pheby Bodley, had white swelling. [1]
Margaret Springer, 81, had a dislocated hip.
Jacob Long, 70, had asthma.
Sharon J. Troutner, daughter of George Troutner, had spinal disease.
Christian Voltz, 45, was blind.
Joshua Chilcote, 72, died, name crossed off.
Hethcote S. Chilcote, 28, son of Joshua, had consumption.
William Harshman, 54, was blind.
R. Robison, 77, male, died.
J. Jones, 63, widow, living with Frederick Eller, was crippled.
Almira Billman, 41, wife of John Billman, had dyspepsia.
George Bienz, 24, son of Jacob Bienz, was disabled.
Jacob Dull, 7 months, son of Sylvester Dull, name crossed out.
Jane Crawshaw, 72, died, name crossed off.
Sahais A. Foor, 18, daughter of Joseph, was deaf and dumb.
George Stager, 67, was deaf and dumb.
William Medaugh, 28, had paralysis on his left side.
William A. Walters, 10, son of William C. Walters, died, name crossed out.
Rachel Wagers/Uagers?, 47, John Wagers/Uagers household, died, name crossed out.
Michael Wolf, 74, in John Wagers household, had white swelling and was disabled. 
William B. Sheets, 3, son of Oliver W. Sheets, had paralysis on his right side and was disabled.
Andrew Park, 90, retired farmer, was feeble. [4]

Those individuals died sometime relatively soon after they were enumerated in the census. This information may be helpful in determining what happened to some family members. Often, in genealogy research, people have a way of disappearing. In addition, our ancestors’ health information may be of interest to us today, to help determine hereditary issues.

Illnesses and diseases. Something more to look at when browsing through the 1880 census.

[1] White swelling, aka bone tuberculosis, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Winter fever: a bacterial infection of the bones; tuberculosis arthritis, especially in the knee or hips, causing swelling, stiffness, and fluid accumulation in the joints; most often occurring at middle-age or in children.

[2] 1880 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 154, p.27 [penned], family 244, Abesh Dague;, viewed 23 Mar 2022.

[3] 1880 U.S. Census Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 154, p.457A [stamped], p.29 [penned], family 258, Mary Hoser; digital image by subscription,, viewed 6 Mar 2022.

[4] 1880 U.S. Census Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 154; digital images by subscription,, viewed 6 Mar 2022.